Deb McIntosh: Castlegar grows as a caring community

Here come the 2020s: Castlegar News asked local leaders to offer their thoughts on the new decade.

Castlegar community organizer and former city councillor Deb McIntosh says looking forward to 2030 fills her with hope and excitement.

I sense a strong push of a people-first approach. A mandate for a more empathetic, inclusive society, but we have work to do. A need for a continuum of housing has been widely recognized and I have every reason to believe that over the next 10 years we will produce a community that strives to appreciate and represent all its residents.

There’s a need to change how we deal with social issues, and how we develop our community will continue to be a key topic. We need to be ahead of this by being proactive instead of being reactive. Housing for everyone should be the norm that we all strive for and that can be accomplished by building partnerships with all levels of government and working with the agencies that are working on the front lines and know the needs of our community.

I hope to see less derision on Facebook and other social media outlets, and more face-to-face discussions, where people can and should be accountable for words and actions. I believe that we can overcome the major hurtles by learning how to communicate in a productive way. We could all use lessons in listening.

I know that science will prevail, and the vast majority will agree that climate change is real and that investing in new technologies is needed and that we all have a role to play in that success. I anticipate that we will continue to have strong grassroots representation that will keep conversations relevant and on track.

I also see a strong movement towards food sustainability and how Castlegar can benefit from recognizing some of our shortfalls.

I see a strong informed group of young people that will not only demand better from all leaders in all positions but will also be willing and ready to step up and take the lead. We have an asset in our youth, and we need to encourage, listen and acknowledge what they bring to our community.

I encourage our young people to continue to speak up and speak out and protest when needed. I’d love to see and be part of a bigger movement that speaks out against racism and bigotry and call for more inclusion and acceptance. A diverse community is a strong and safe community.

I predict a strong vibrant community that continues to grow, evolve and embrace change. I encourage a culture of listening, of empathy and a strong social conscience. I believe in a community that embraces peace and global justice. A community that will continue to make us all proud.

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